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The Strategy of What You Don’t Invest In

This article was featured in the December 2018 edition of Law Journal Newsletters.

By Scott McFetters

Ever since the financial crisis of 2008, law has become an unbelievably competitive business. Further, if you’re operating a law firm, you know that one of the few levers you can move to make your firm more competitive is the one labeled “technology.” However, advanced technology isn’t free. Outfitting your team with equipment that will move the needle can require an impossibly large capital outlay. The solution may not be, therefore, to purchase all that gear. It may be to lease or finance it. Leasing your technology can be a strategic decision, and a key to succeeding in an incredibly competitive market.

If you put some data behind the “competitive” adjective, even a few minutes’ research will clarify just what “difficult” means to law firms. Demand is not increasing. Rates are under pressure. And more and more hungry, motivated competitors are out there, gunning for your clients. According to a 2017 Altman Weil survey of law firms:

95% of law firm leaders think price competition is a permanent feature of the legal marketplace.

67% are losing business to in-house legal departments.

67% plan on having fewer equity partners in the future.

The introduction to the 2018 Report on the State of the Legal Market issued by the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession at Georgetown University Law Center and Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute puts it like this:

Flat demand for law firm services, declining profit margins, weakening collections, falling productivity, and loss of market share to alternative legal service providers and others, are gradually undermining the foundations of firm profitability. For example, the annual declines in productivity since 2007 may not have been sufficient to trigger alarm in any given year. But the average lawyer is now billing 156 fewer hours than they did eleven years ago. At current average rates, this is costing firms an average of $74,100 in lost revenues per lawyer each year.

The usual tricks that have historically been up the sleeve of law firms seeking growth are no longer available. You can work your lawyers only so hard, in particular associates who are Millennials. You can’t keep automatically raising rates if you want to keep your clients. You can, and should, do a better job of business development, but in a market with flat (or even decreasing) demand, that only goes so far.

To learn more, read Scott McFetters’ latest article in Law Journal Newsletter, click here. To download a PDF of the full article, click here.

Why Leasing Desktops and Laptops is a Particular Strategic Advantage for Today’s Law Firms

This article was featured in the Q4 2018 edition of Thomson Reuters Elite’s Forefront newsletter.

As a long-term business partner of Thomson Reuters Elite, CoreTech Leasing has been working with many partner firms to help finance the software and all related costs for their upgrade to 3E®.  However, it’s important firms don’t leave hardware behind, including laptops and desktops. In the increasingly competitive business of law, tying up capital in a depreciating asset like computer hardware—desktops, laptops, tablets and servers—not only doesn’t make sense, but it’s a type of strategic negligence. Leasing is a much better option for a wide range of reasons, some of them surprising.

Today’s lawyers practice in a dynamic and pressurized business environment. The ability to quickly adjust your firm’s operations in response to changes isn’t just a good idea. It can make the difference between hitting your targets and missing them. More specifically, it can make the difference between, say, accepting a great case that includes some contingencies and passing on it because your firm can’t afford the risk. Or it can have you decided not to pursue a major new client because you can’t afford to staff it. Leasing your firm’s technology can make the unaffordable affordable and provide firm leadership with the flexibility to meet the ever-changing industry demands.

To learn more, read Scott McFetters’ latest article in Thomson Reuters Elite’s Forefront here. To download a PDF of the full article, click here.

CoreTech Leasing Welcomes New Sales Leader, Barry Steel, Sr. VP of Sales

Newport Beach, CA – August 1, 2018 – Independent technology and equipment lessor, CoreTech Leasing, Inc., today announces the addition of Barry Steel to their leadership team.  Mr. Steel has joined the CoreTech team as Sr. Vice President of Sales. An exceptional leader with an impressive record of achievement in multiple, highly competitive markets for over 25+ years, Barry is known for his abilities to build strategic alliances that position organizations for long-term profitability, productivity and performance.   Barry will lead the CoreTech sales and marketing initiatives as the company continues to experience exceptional growth into multiple industry markets including:  legal, manufacturing, medical, semiconductor, and education.

As changes in technology and equipment assets and organizational needs continue to accelerate at exponential rates, more organizations across markets are leveraging leasing and financing strategies to better compete—and being an independent leasing company allows for more flexibility.  According to the ELFA, equipment and software investment continues to expand and new business volume continue to expand at a healthy pace, and this trend is expected to maintain solid momentum throughout 2018, according to the ELFA.

Barry was most recently President of Capital Fleet Solutions which consulted with several commercial banks in the automotive dealer space and included a total portfolio of 500,000 vehicles.  Prior to Capital Fleet Solutions, Barry was the Senior VP of Global and Strategic Accounts for Donlen Corporation where he designed and executed strong strategic visions that resulted in being acquired by Hertz Corporation for a record valuation.  Barry also served as VP of SalesForce Development for GE Capital Fleet Services for nearly a decade where he developed programs to track sales, customer satisfaction, and coordinated pricing across the business.

Scott McFetters, President of CoreTech Leasing, remarked, “We are exceptionally pleased to have someone of Barry’s caliber join our team and help lead our growth in the right direction that both builds our relationships in the market and strengthens our sales team’s abilities to deliver top tier service and solutions.  We look forward to Barry’s experienced leadership, integrity and expertise and welcome him to the team.”

Barry added, “If you like owning, you will love leasing.  Leasing can provide organizations all of the flexibility of ownership, and the financial benefits of leasing. The people at CoreTech are what makes them a preferred partner with their customers.  Scott has built an exceptional organization at CoreTech which is demonstrated by CoreTech’s stellar industry reputation.  I am honored to be joining the team as leader of exceptional people and will look forward to taking the team—and the company–to the top.”

To download the press release, click here.

Install Now, Pay Later

Does your institution need to make capital purchases today but are waiting for the budget dollars of your new fiscal year?

We have a solution! Let us introduce you to CoreTech’s cash-flow friendly leasing and financing option.

We pay the vendors on your behalf and you install the equipment at your own pace, with payments not due until your next fiscal year. You remain completely in control and manage the vendor engagement.

What are the benefits of leasing and financing equipment?

– Lease-financing increases your cash flow

– Flexible structures that allow your institution to remain nimble

– Predictable costs mean fewer surprises

– Combine multiple vendors into a single low monthly or quarterly payment

– Keep your technology current with a lifecycle management program

– Customized structures to fit your specific requirements

– 100% financing can include installation, maintenance and software costs

Ready for more information?

If you’re ready to learn more click here or contact Adam Laughlin directly at (949) 679-2596 or alaughlin@coretechleasing.com to set up a convenient time to discuss your institution’s leasing and financing options.

Cash Management and Upgrading to 3E

This article was featured in the Q1 2018 edition of Thomson Reuters Elite’s Forefront newsletter.

It’s now been 10 years since the economic crisis of 2008 and just under 10 years since the legal market saw the greatest dip in demand for services. The market has stabilized since then, but growth has remained flat. The recently released Thomson Reuters 2018 Report on the State of the Legal Market shows flat growth is expected to continue as well as longer billing/collection cycles and continued downward pressure on realization. And, to top things off, a small uptick in expenses is likely due to an increase in associates’ pay as well as more technology investments due to cyber security and competitive needs.

To say these are challenging conditions is an understatement, especially when it comes to managing cash flow while meeting all of the demands of the new market. Preserving cash flow is increasingly a reason we are seeing firms leverage financing to procure software, hardware, and equipment needs.

By converting large cash expenses into a predictable monthly expense, firms can extend the expenditure over a period of time that best suits the firm strategically.

To learn more, read Scott McFetters’ latest article in Thomson Reuters Elite’s Forefront here. To download a PDF of the full article, click here.

ILTA Webinar: “How Financing Helps You Manage State-of-the-Art IT Infrastructure”

Increasing cybersecurity and business development technology needs, along with rapid changes or upgrades to core IT infrastructure, and an increase in regulations, are driving IT budgets upwards.

Can leasing and financing help your firm stay compliant, cyber-current and competitive without breaking the bank? Join us on Tuesday, January 23rd for our ILTA-sponsored webinar:

“How Financing Helps You Manage State-of-the-Art IT Infrastructure”
Time: 12:00 pm ET
ILTA members: Free
Non-ILTA members: $75.00
Register here.

Mike Henderson, Regional Manager at CoreTech Leasing, reviews how leasing and financing helps firms:

  • –   Convert large cash expenditures to a monthly expense
  • –   Finance 100% of software need, including data conversion, implementation and training
  • –   Provide flexibility to seamlessly replace and upgrade equipment such as desktops and laptops at the pace
  •      required by today’s business needs
  • –   Insert asset tracking as a key component of security best practices
  • –   Preserve cash flow for other strategic needs and spread out partner contributions

We hope you can join us for this productive discussion.

Top 5 Tips to Prepare for the New Lease Accounting Rules

 

Copyright Equipment Leasing and Finance Association 2017. Reprinted with permission.

End the year smart: 2017 tax breaks expire soon!

Leasing and financing equipment assists in preserving cash flow—and thanks to updates in the Section 179 accounting rules, it can also save money on taxes.

If the equipment you lease qualifies for the Section 179 tax deduction, you might be able to expense all or portions of the cost.

Here’s what you need to know to create your own tax break for 2017:

 1.  The deduction limit for Section 179 is $500,000.  This means that if you buy (or finance) a piece of equipment, you can deduct the Full Purchase Price (up to $500,000) from your gross income.

2.   The 2017 Section 179 deduction threshold for total amount of equipment that can be purchased is $2,000,000.  This means that you can purchase more equipment and still have the benefit of the Section 179 deduction.

3.   50% bonus depreciation was reinstated for the tax year 2016 and extended through 2019.  For equipment purchases over the Section 179 deduction limit of $500,000, you can deduct an additional 50% of the amount over $500,000 in addition to your normal depreciation deduction. This applies to equipment acquired and put into service during 2017. Bonus depreciation will phase down to 40% in 2018 and 30% in 2019.

December is almost here.  Let’s talk before the holidays, and make sure you are able to take full advantage of this tax benefit.

Call us at 866.758.2673 or email us at  info@coretechleasing.com and we can all end the year on a high note.

Scott McFetters to Speak at ALA Chapter Education Meeting, Hawaii

Advances in technology and software are increasing exponentially, causing obsolescence cycles to shrink, and inserting risk as outdated technology leaves firm?s vulnerable to security risks. Many law firms struggle to manage these vital needs to continuously update software and equipment to keep current and address security while staying within budget.

Leasing is a strategic financial option that firms can utilize to provide a predictable, monthly expense for their technology and equipment needs. Moving to a monthly expense model puts the firm in an agile position for change, seamlessly enables technology and equipment upgrades and replacement, and ensures the firm?s hardware and software are current to security standards without becoming bottlenecked by inserting simple payment replacement rather than cash expenditure approval processes.

Join Scott McFetters, President of CoreTech Leasing, at Cades Schutte LLP, as he discusses financial strategies that help firms navigate the equally important needs of technology, equipment, security and budgets, including industry best practices, types of lessors organizations encounter, and what pitfalls firms should avoid.

Upgrading to 3E Financing and Leasing Is a Strategic Advantage

This article was featured in the Q2 2017 edition of Thomson Reuters Elite’s Forefront newsletter.